Justice Bernd Zabel, who wore a ”Make America Great Again” hat in Hamilton court the day after Donald Trump’s election win last November, has been suspended 30 days without pay.
(Jae C Hong / Associated Press)
It’s the harshest sanction that the Ontario Judicial Council can impose, short of firing the judge.
When he appeared before a disciplinary hearing last month, Zabel apologized and said he did not support the president, but was just trying to make people laugh.
Many didn’t see the humour.
The Council received over 80 complaints and says the most common theme was that his conduct ”represented an unacceptable expression of partisan political views by a judge.”
However, the Council also received more than 60 letters of support from judicial colleagues, members of the bar, court staff and members of the public.
Zabel has not been hearing cases since December.
A judge for 27 years, it’s the first time he faced a disciplinary hearing.